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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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Irs 49, Us 25, Joe 20, Obama 18, Sam Stein 15, Washington 14, America 13, Benghazi 13, Clinton 11, Bob Woodward 11, The Irs 10, Angie 10, Garth 8, Peter Alexander 8, Mika 8, Anthony Weiner 7, Lisa Myers 7, New York 7, Msnbc 6, Cincinnati 6,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    May 17, 2013
    3:00 - 6:01am PDT  

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wake up sunday $550 million before taxes. what would you do on that sunday? mr. john tower, quite a few responses here. >> stacy on twitter, scream, run around the house naked calling someone to erase me from the internet and phone list. we have matt, he writes let's say the ms and msnbc will stand for matt scott. and chris g. brown on twitter, i can finally afford the topless bea arthur painting i've always wanted. >> i've been getting hate mail from the bea arthur estate. "morning joe" starts right now. >> how do you feel about
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comparison by some of your critics of this week's scandals to those that happened under the nixon administration? >> i'll let you guys engage in those comparisons. you can go ahead and read the history i think and draw your own conclusions. my concern is making sure if there is a problem in the government, that we fix it. >> good morning. it's friday, may 17th. what a beautiful friday. >> gorgeous. >> look at that. look at that. we may have a little bit of sun around here. beautiful friday. hope you're going to have a great weekend. with us on set senior political editor and white house correspondent for the huffington post and currently the hardest working man in show business, sam stein. i saw him last night working like 10:30 at night on air. chairman of deutsch ink, donny deutsch and a man who would agree that sam stein should ever have the moniker working man in
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show business, host of msnbc's "politics nation" and president of the nation action network reverend al sharpton. in nashville, tennessee, john meacham and a lot of big stories to cover this morning. we've got nbc's peter alexander, he's live at the white house. senior investigative correspondent lisa myers at our washington bureau and nbc congressional correspondent luke russert standing by on capitol hill. mika, a lot to talk to. we talk about a white house, though, fighting back. >> absolutely. president obama is facing ongoing questions stemming from the irs's targeting of conservative groups. with the first of several hearings on the issue set to kick off today, a second irs official is stepping down. he follows the agency's acting commissioner who announced his resignation earlier this week. now a white house budget official will take over the irs. we learned the irs staffer who was in charge of the tax exempt
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organizations at the time the tea party groups that were targeted -- >> got fired, right? >> no. >> suspended? >> is a little different than that. >> i bet they demoted him, put him in a position that's not going to be important. >> maybe put him in a holding room. no. >> really? >> you know what, where bloomberg would put the teachers, you know, that they don't want to fire. >> the rubber rooms. >> i bet they put this person, botched this up so terribly in like a rubber room, right? >> no. that person is now responsible for the irs office that handles health care legislation. >> i'm sorry. let's go to the white house. nbc news' peter alexander. that's not on your menu this morning. are you serious? >> yeah. >> did abc break this last night? >> maybe there's something we don't understand. maybe there's a strategy here. peter can explain it to us. >> i don't know. that's not why we called peter here. peter gets up, he wakes up, he's
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on his off day, right? he says we're going to come in and throw this stuff at him. peter, what we wanted to talk about first of all and then you can respond to this, everybody will be talking about it -- >> sure, i'm hanging out. >> just hanging out. >> let's talk about yesterday, though. you really had i think a white house aggressive on all fronts really trying to counter some of the republican attacks. >> yeah. i was among those journalists sitting in the rose garden yesterday and i said to andrea mitchell at the time on msnbc this really was the perfect metaphor for what the last week has looked like for this white house. we were sitting out there, the president was late by 49 minutes to come out to the rose garden -- >> nothing with counting -- >> with the prime minister. for those who say there's been a lag time in terms of his response that was a metaphor as well. the dark clouds were swirling and it started to rain as the president walked out. he had to bring the marines in to hold umbrellas over them. that's the way the white house has felt in recent days. it cleared you up by the end of the thing. a lot of people think the white
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house tried to surgically remove some of these issues, to take them away from being on the defensive and try to go back on offense with more substantive action. they think they take it out in the words of the senior adviser out of the silliness of the political realm and put it back into the policy realm where the white house feels like it's strongest on the issue of irs with the new reforms they've urged jack lew to implement, on the issue of the media shield laws for the ap seizure of phone records, and also finally on the issue of benghazi where the president before we asked questions said he was calling on congress to do more to bolster security overseas. >> and luke russert is on capitol hill right now. luke, let's bring you in here. the headline of the "new york times," the gop is energized. how far do they take these inquiries, how hard do they push? there's a weighs and means hearing today that will give us insight to that, isn't there some. >> a huge hearing, joe. the weighs and means committee
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will get the former irs head mr. miller before them to answer questions as well as the inspector general mr. george who wrote this report that was so damming to the irs. the question you bring up is, how far is the gop going to push it. the cliche thing in d.c. to say look they have to keep it serious, can't make this into a witch hunt because they lose the political high ground. the best committee to have out of the gate in order to have these types of questions, joe, is the house ways and means committee. you remember from your time up here, that's where the party puts its stars. it's the smart people, the people that understand the true mechanisms of government. they'll expect questions today for those two individuals from guys like dave camp, paul ryan, peter roscoe, people very comfortable with the leadership who know the met tricks very well who will ask tough authoritative questions from the republican side. the democrats want to get in on this too. sander levin, the soft spoken man he is, wants to throw a few
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spears today because they want to show that democrats don't want to be columned into this mess, that the irs has created. it's a fascinating thing to see how this all plays out. >> it is. peter alexander back at the white house, is the white house counting on republicans overplaying their hand? >> the white house feels pretty confidently when these things becomes partisan as they have insisted this has been since the beginning that's when republicans look bad and they start to look good. they're trying to focus on policy. hammering reporters saying they're going to baltimore, second effort to focus on jobs, what americans are talking about. they're going to an elementary school to focus on pre-k education, infrastructure, dredging manufacturing company up there to try to make a difference on that front as well. there's a whole other topic we'll talk about, one of the items that hasn't been addressed as we focus on the primary three scannedles, the issue of the military sexual assaults, that's one that the president is
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personally furious about and acknowledged that members of his joint chiefs of staff who were here yesterday alongside the defense secretary are ashamed of as well. >> we're going to get to that and about to go to lisa myers, but first talk about the risk of overplaying the hands on the part of the republicans and what they can do at this point, especially looking ahead to the hearing today. >> peggy noonan has a great op-ed in the "wall street journal" as peggy always does. this week what she's talking about is how this is so extraordinarily important. it shouldn't be cheapnd by 30-second ads. a shot across the value. bill crystal of "the weekly standard" karl rove why he would try to turn this into a 30-second ad. this is extraordinarily important. all of these issues are very important. the president is acting like he's just learned all of this like us from newspapers. and that's very disturbing. >> right. >> we don't want our president to be that disconnected. so republicans shouldn't overreach. they should find out why the president didn't know what he knew or find out what he knew
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and when he knew it. it's extraordinarily important. and let's go to lisa myers quickly. i think that's actually what a lot of republicans are going to try to figure out today, when did the president figure all of this stuff out. is he really -- is he so disconnected from the irs that he and his attorney general and anybody that matters, found out that this rampant abuse was going on in one of their top offices when the rest of us did? >> well, certainly joe, the irs commissioner will be asked that question today. did he share this information? he has known for at least a year that this was going on and that this had happened and did he share any of that information with the white house. but even more importantly, congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? members of congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. what's going on here? the irs denied it. then when -- after these officials are briefed by the i.g. this is going on, they don't disclose it. in fact, the commissioner sent a
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letter to congress in september on this subject and did not reveal this. imagine if we -- if you can what would have happened if this fact came out in september 2012 in the middle of a presidential election. the terrain would have looked very different. >> i think very different. you know what we don't understand, lisa, reading all these articles, why is it the president fired somebody who really was on the periphery at best of this scandal, if that's what you call it when it broke, and the person who was in charge has been promoted to the most important political position in the irs, which is -- because we had newt gingrich earlier this week saying if you can't trust the irs to do basic things, how can we trust them to take care of your health care? well, even newt gingrich and the other republicans that were talking this line early in the week, had no idea that the person in the irs that conducted these political sw some would say witchhunts is the person in
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the irs that's going to be in the middle of this health care battle? >> well, you remove the commissioner because he's the guy at the top. he is the guy responsible. he's known and he didn't tell anyone allegedly. i don't think this woman is going to be, who's now in charge of implementing obama care, is going to stay in that job for very long, now that this has been revealed. there is a broader question here. even if you believe that this targeting was basically carried out by frontline employees in the cincinnati office, a lot of reason to believe it was much broader than that, if you do, you look at the timeline and the series of middle managers working their way up the totem pole, learned that this had happened and was going on. yet, they see their agency deny it to congress. no one came forward as a whistle blower. so many people knew this had happened and no one had the integrity to come forward and correct the record. so you have to worry about the
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entire culture, i think, and integrity of the irs. >> that's a great point. >> okay. john meacham in nashville, as we look at this story with all the different angles and reporters covering it, can you put it in historic perspective for us. as we're looking at it close up right now, as we back up does this not stand out in history as such a big scandal or does it? >> well, second terms tend to run into the scandal machinery and storms pretty quickly. president reagan, president clinton, president nixon, so you have a certain pattern here that's playing out. one thing that i think makes this different because actually each of those presidents, as we know, had enormous capital taken away by scandal, but each was able to accomplish a good deal, one issue now is with the hyper partisan gridlock, there's so little infrastructural support
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for the president, even in his own party, how many democrats are willing -- really willing to take bullets for him in getting through this kind of political firestorm to mix about seven metaphors, and actually get him to a place where he can get back to, as he sternly lectured us yesterday, he wants to be on the substance -- >> john meacham, i think you bring up a good point. this is a president that keeps everybody's at arms length. if you embarrass him he throws you under the bus political. started with his preacher in chicago and continued forward. that's why i was jarred by some of the -- some of the democratic chairmen on the hill and some of the statements they made early on, that i just didn't expect them to be quite so tough. usually you circle the wagons for a week or so. that hasn't happened. as luke reported earlier, sander levin is going to go on the hill today and he and other democrats
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are going to distance themselves now from this administration. because the president has isolated himself. >> this is where you reap what you sew. this is a president who self-evidently, to some extent by his own acknowledgement and he jokes about it, have a drink with -- people say i want to have -- i should have a drink with mitch mcconnell, you go have a drink with mitch mcconnell. i'm not saying a couple drinks would fix this, but there's so little margin for error in -- on a practical human political level right now in the capital and the president's exacerbated that, he's living on that margin, and i just don't know how many folks are going to spend down their own capital with their own elections in front of them. we've talked about this a lot right here, the one person who in this whole situation who does not have another election is barack obama. >> yeah. >> with that in mind, obama care was under fire again yesterday, marking the 38th time house republicans voted to repeal or
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defend parts of president obama's signature piece of legislation. the vote was divided along party lines, 225-195, with two democrats voting with republicans. since being signed into law, the affordable care act remains a divisive issue among americans, according to a recent nonpartisan study, 35% of americans have a favorable opinion of the law. of those opposed to it, 53% believe lawmakers should continue to try and repeal or change it. a lot of people don't even know about it. >> reverend al, this bill remains a -- what is it, meacham, a mystery wrapped inside of an enigma. >> a mystery wrapped in an enigma covered by riddle, i think. >> and obama care seems to be that way. we didn't understand what it was when we were debating it. we didn't understand what it was -- nancy pelosi famously said let's face it so we can figure out what's in it. most americans still don't know
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what's in this thing. >> let me clear it up. it's the law. upheld by the supreme court. let's start there. it is the law and appears it will remain there. one of the things that i wanted to say in what you opened with, joe, i think the republicans have already gone too far. >> think they've already overreached? >> i'm going to tell you why. they're changing the premise to try to change the conclusion. they started these scandals by saying, the white house orchestrated benghazi. >> right. >> now we see where susan rice totally has not been seemed to be involved in spinning this for any political reason. so their whole premise has changed now. now we've gone from susan rice to clinton and like clinton would do this to try to re-elect obama is absurd. then we go with the irs scandal. >> right. >> the showman who was the head of the irs, was a bush appointed republican. how do we go from people on the front line in cincinnati, go over the republican appointed
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commissioner of the irs, and leap into the oval office? it just doesn't make sense. everywhere they're going, they're trying to change things along the way. we can have different opinions. we can't have different facts. >> all right. donny? >> you know, i think -- i'm a little different place than most people here and we talked about this yesterday. i do think the overreach is going to happen and i also think the american people have a way of separating what i'll call institutional incompetent bureaucracies, congress, irs, and they don't attach them to a president or a party. >> he's always attached to republican parties -- >> but i don't think it's going to get attached here. i believe the american people want forward, not back. go, not stop. >> are you disturbed by a president that says he learns of every bad thing that happens in his administration from reading newspapers? i'm asking you that question. >> i am disturbed -- >> the issue with ronald reagan -- >> disturbed by his passivity. >> how passive can you be? >> is this going to stick and it's not because the
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republican -- i kept reading about michelle bachmann yesterday. i haven't heard her name -- >> we're going to show that -- >> because she's irrelevant. when this stuff happens, all of a sudden, the -- whatever you want to call them, climb out from under the rocks and the cameras go on them again and these become the faces of the republican party. >> you think they're going to overreach? >> no question. this is actually going to be a gold mine. mika? >> we're going to get to a couple things. we have mike seidel standing by because tornado season is taking a deadly toll. the sheer numbers from one storm in texas, staggering, six people dead, seven people missing. the wearing channel's mike seidel joins us from granbury, texas. mike? >> good morning, mika and joe. it came to a crashing end because going into wednesday, we were running way below average since march 1st through april and mid may, the peak of tornado season, only about 22% of what we normally see. may is the busiest month with almost 500 tornadoes and then wednesday night, 16 confirmed so
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far here in north texas and the first ef-4 to touch down around the dallas/ft. worth area in almost 20 years. you can see the video now. this is from above. this is the subdivision we're across the street from. we can't get in there. the residents can't get in there, guys. utter devastation. two homes were wiped off their slabs, thus the rating of ef-4, a high end ef-4 which will put those wind gusts as high as 200 miles an hour. we've heard last night and this morning of the seven folks they can't locate, that two were in shelters. that's good news. we're hoping that the other five are, you know, with friends and relatives. they weren't home when the tornado hit. we're going to rampp things up for a tornado threat for the plains saturday and sunday. another thing they're keeping an eye on pets. right out here in the field behind the horse barn, which was partially destroyed, look at this, a kit ki cat this morning. very friendly, very docile and probably very hungry.
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purring like a kitty cat should this morning, mika and joe. >> be careful. >> a lot of tornadoes, first time i've had a pet come up to me. >> adopt that cat. say you will. >> i've got two dogs at home. i don't know if my dogs would like the cat. i'm not sure how that would go. we'll see what we can do with the kitty cat. i think he lives in the horse barn. >> mike seidel, granbury, texas, thanks very much. let's go to meteorologist bill karins. >> the one image mike mentioned two houses were wiped from the ground. let me show you one of them. this is literally a slab that was left. this is a large house too. there's nothing left except the actual concrete foundation that's on the bottom of it. the details on this tornado, to get something like this, it has to be exceptional. the scale goes up to a 5, ef-4 and then ef-5, 166 to 200 miles per hour estimated winds. the tornado was on the ground about three miles and a half mile wide. who's next? now that we're in the heart of
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severe weather season over the weekend we need to be aware we could see additional strong storms, possible tornadoes. the area of yellows the best chance happening on saturday. western kansas, western sections of nebraska, all of the dakota into areas around fargo. it's as we head into sunday the threat expands into our larger cities and bigger population areas, from minneapolis to rochester, des moines, omaha, wichita, oklahoma city and tulsa, all of the areas on sunday, mika, we have to keep an eye. you can still do your afternoon plans but you have to have your preparations in case one of these bad storms heads your way, get your family safe in a hurry. >> bill karins, thanks. we'll talk to you later. >> still a lot more coming up. peter alexander at the white house, still there, going to have luke russert at the capitol getting us up to date with everything else and lisa miers. >> i will give you rapping lessons in the break. we're not talking jay-z. >> sam stein -- >> if you have questions about his journalistic chops during
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the weather segment, what sam said, it's a cat. it's a cat. >> yes. >> which -- >> wasn't a dog. >> good. >> i talk. >> we told you we weren't going to let him talk. >> moderator of "meet the press" chuck todd, ahead of today's hearings on the irs, michael hainey, with the new issue of "gq". >> i bet another picture of kate upton in there. >> up next, many say, the former congressman, anthony weiner's wife would be his best weapon in a possible run for mayor of new york city, could something she did while working for hillary clinton make her a liability instead? we'll explain next in the politico playbook. "you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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all right. it's time now to take the look at the morning papers at 25 past the hour. you want to start with the headlines? >> "the toronto star," mayor rob ford making headlines for
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questionable behavior not typically seen from elected officials. there's a cell phone video that allegedly shows the mayor smoking a crack pipe and using expletives. i know a mayor that was set up, though. the video being reportedly shopped around by a group of somali men involved in the drug trade. >> wow, that's kind of a random story. >> i hate when that happens. >> from our parade of papers "the times-picayune" two suspects in custody for a shooting rampage that left 19 injured at a new orleans parade on mother's day. surveillance footage shows at crowd at the parade after everyone scatters after apparent gunshots. they say siblings shon and aken scott have ties to new orleans street gangs. each charged with 20 counts of attempted second-degree murder is. >> t"the wall street journal," dels report a decline as pc
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sells drop. fell to $130 million as a lot of people are trying to actually take over. take the company over. >> "the washington post," the saga of an accused american spy felt from russia only gets stranger. the russian spy service expelled the american as they identified as ryan fogle, saying he was discovered trying to recruit russian security officers and the details about the wig he was allegedly wearing continued to pour in. there are reports the wig matches one taken from a u.s. diplomat in 1986. >> are you kidding me? >> the wig is currently in the russian archives interfax news agency speculated the cia has possibly used the same wig supplier over the last 30 years. attributing it to sources. >> wow. >> the third largest lotto jack pot on the line this weekend and the powerball again with no winner last week. >> can you believe these numbers? >> i need this. i'm going to play it. >> it's gambling. >> i could make more money this
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weekend than david beckham made his entire career. >> that's true. >> skyrocketed to $550 million. the biggest of all time. mega millions last year, paid out $656 million. >> you could buy your own tv network. can you believe that? >> that's exciting. >> the "l.a. times" after a nine-season run fans bid farewell to "the office" in the series finale. i loved that show. the rumor of a long-awaited return of boss michael scott turned out it to be true. >> isn't that great? >> he popped up at the wedding of dwight and angela. >> isn't that fantastic? i'm glad he showed up. did a little bit of dancing. >> oh, god. i love it. it's time now for -- >> quickly, you've got the front the new york tabloids, front of "the new york post ". >> that says it all. >> talking about the president and the back of "the daily news" the knicks survive for another game. we'll see how long that lasts. let's go to politico's patrick gavin, he has the morning
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playbook. what are you guys looking at today? >> we've got a story up about huma abedin, you teased it before the break. she is the wife of anthony weiner we all sort of expect will likely announce his candidacy for new york city mayor next week. what's interesting is that what we're finding out is during her remaining months at the state department, she's been a long-time adviser to then secretary of state hillary clinton, she's actually did some part-time consulting on the side as well. what's interesting about that it's not technically illegal, you're allowed to do it if you're dubbed a special government employee, she was, what's interesting about this situation, we're going to see these worlds combining in new york city between the clintons and anthony weiner -- >> wait. let me stop right there. you're allowed to work at the state department and lobby the state department at the same time? >> that's right. >> that's fascinating. >> she was allowed to be a part-time employee because at the time she was on maternity leave and wanted to work from new york and not washington, d.c. she was a part-time employee. which was interesting. one of the good government watchdogs told "the new york
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times" it's weird you can be the deputy chief of staff to hillary clinton and that's a part-time job. >> lisa myers, did you know, i'm asking you because you were so plugged into washington, d.c., i had noed idea, did you know she was a part-time employee that allowed her to lobby? i mean, on state department business. that's stunning to me, that that's the fllaw in washington. >> nothing surprises me about what is allowed in washington, but i do think that it is surprising, given how close she is and how involved she was, with the secretary of state, i mean she is about as close as you can get which doesn't really make her very part time, i would assume, in the amount of time she spends on what secretary clinton cares about. but it is -- i think an unusual arrangement where you have a government employee who also i taking income from an outside private source.
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>> that's fascinating. >> we'll try to bring luke in here, but i'm just surprised if it's not against the law, which i find stunning, it's perhaps unethical, which makes it a story. >> certainly does. >> but how can you operate that way and how is that a fair game in any way? >> mika, one thing that's interesting about it, there's so far absolutely no indication any clients she was repping were ill repute. we know it was a little work with bill clinton's foundation a little work with clelsy clinton and work with women, a little bit of work with the consulting firm tenao run by clinton's right-hand man. there's no indication of foul play but it doesn't wreak of good government. the week that anthony weiner announces he's running for mayor spouses get dragged into these things. she'll probably be forced to talk about it more. >> what are you hearing on the hill, people that worked with anthony for well over a decade, what are they saying about his new york run and his possible political resurrection?
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>> people aren't surprised at all, joe. you know the guy has an affinity for politics. it's what he does. but in regards to this point about huma abedin, i think the most interesting thing for people on the hill with anthony weiner is his connection to the clintons and possibility of when she runs in 2016. is this a good thing for him to be out front and center with huma at his side. she stood by him. one person mentioned to me, though, when this huma report came forward, remember that name back in the '90s webster hubble, right, this idea that hillary clinton was connected to the sort of shady operators, could that come through through huma abedin and anthony weiner? does that move that discussion to the forefront on the heels of what we've seen against hillary clinton on the capitol hill through benghazi, because that's one of the main reasons why the gop has been pushing these benghazi points, is to try to put mud on her tires. so in that whole context can be fascinating to see how it moves forward. anthony weiner, everyone in the house democratic caucus, is happy he's running for mayor of new york and not trying to get
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back to congress and pull an mark sanford. >> okay. let's go to the second story right now, patrick. obviously new calls for eric holder to resign. the white house is having none of it, are they? >> well, they're right. what's interesting is that a lot of conservatives don't like eric holder but we sort of heard on thursday the first prominent liberal in the form of bill press coming out and saying eric holder should step down. bill press won't be the first to admit not because of what he's seen in the past week but he thinks he should have gone after wall street more aggressively, bankers more aggressively, dick cheney, george bush. don't know if it's a walter cronkite moment for the liberal movement against eric holder. keep your ears peeled if you see more folks from obama's camp and the far left for holder to go as well. >> peter alexander, the president will stand by eric holder until the bitter, end, will he not? >> he was asked yesterday in the news conference, be reporters
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try to squeeze five questions in when they get one and one included eric holder. that was the thing that the president forget. and about mr. holder -- >> that's what i want to hit. i want to make it very clear i have complete confidence in eric holder. those questions are going to continue to swirl around him especially as you see him answer nor questions. >> like the sprinklers behind you they will swirl. >> we have a leaf blower in the distance today. yesterday the lawn mower, today the leaf blower. we have you covered. the greens look nice at the white house. >> the greens are looking nice. bring your putter next time, peter. >> patrick gavin, thank you very much. peter thank you as well. coming up, the brainiac box. how shows like "homeland" have reshaped the television landscape and turn the industry on its head. robert safian joins us with the magazine's 100 most creative people in business. first game five last night at the garden between the knicks and the indiana pacers. sports highlights ahead when "morning joe" comes right back.
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with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories... america's beverage companies are delivering. little sports action for you guys. let's start with the nba. some elimination games. some teams leaving.
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>> all right. >> spurs and warriors, take a look here. look at the guy under the basket. >> oh. >> right on his face. harrison barnes, he got six stitches above the eye and he made it back for the start of the second half. fourth quarter spurs tony parker, three-pointer. san antonio, they don't die. >> they don't. these guys are like 800 years old. >> gregg poppovich -- >> just keep winning. >> might win again. it's unbelievable. they will face the memphis grizzlies which will be must-see tv. >> how did the knicks do? >> they did well. >> really? >> or better than expected by the way. carmelo anthony when he does well at the beginning of the game they usually win the game. that's sort of what happened here. he's still playing, 28 points. knicks avoid elimination, force game six in indiana and, of course, this is rihanna. you know j.r. smith? >> yeah. >> good shooter for the knicks. >> yeah. >> he partied a little bit in his day. >> once in a while. >> on instagram she's been linked to his struggles and he's
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been out late at the clubs. well she said it's not me. it's not with me. >> don't blame her. >> don't blame her. >> what? >> so let's go to the red sox. they've lost like 87 games. >> nine of 11 but two in a row -- take a look, will middlebrooks who struggled himself. take a look here. fernando rodney threw a fat change-up and middlebrooks hit a bases-clearing game winning double. >> red sox win a game. >> two in a row. >> beckham retiring, this is big news. >> it is big news. he's an icon. >> thank god. >> are you anti-beckham? >> i like the guy. he's a little pretty, high-pitched voice but still, i like beckham. >> he's retiring at the end of the season -- >> he's way too pretty. >> he is pretty. >> shaved his head -- >> 38 years old. this what is he said about quitting. >> it's a difficult decision because i still feel that i can play at the top level and still have done for the last six months, but i always, you know,
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secretly said to myself that i want to go out at the top. >> dress up as him for halloween. >> how did that work for you? >> did you talk like this? >> no one knew who you were, did they. >> no one knows who i am anyway. >> oh. >> coming up, from "homeland" to "breaking bad" some of the biggest tv shows are carving out a spot of this year's list of fast company's most creative people in business. talking to the magazine's editor robert safian, you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. people join angie's list for all kinds of reasons.
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ask david. he'll tell you. >> by kerry you mean kerry matheson. >> yes. >> what does she think you are? >> a terrorist. >> and you're not? >> no, i'm not. >> you should know that everything you say in here will be used against you in your trial. you should also know that you're facing a possible death sentence. >> i want a lawyer. >> life is full of disappointments. >> i want a [ bleep ] lawyer. >> that was a seen from showtime's "homeland" the co-creator of the hit drama and wide range of other innovators from music to design and technology are featured in "fast company's" list of the 100 most creative in business. with us the editor of "fast company" bob safian. bob, thank you so much for being with us. >> thanks for having me here. >> that was the work of somebody on your list. tell us about it. >> yeah. >> the list is about the most creative people in business in all different areas, right? >> right. >> television is one of the areas, although it's not the only one. >> you call it the brainiac box, now. >> the television, listen we
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know ratings on a lot of shows, or there's talk about not as many people watching certain kinds of tv, but what we notice is that shows that are distinctive, that have -- are attracting audiences of scale with really creative and special kinds of programming, they're doing very well just as you guys are. >> donny, once a vast wasteland. >> yeah. >> once a vast wasteland and they call it the brainiac box. >> tv is in its golden year. because the cable networks are operating the way broadcast networks as far as the level of production and more creative freedom they can have a huge hit with 2 million or 3 million viewers. they can program to much more sophisticated palettes where the broadcast networks need 8 to 10 to 12 mill son you have channel after channel the amcs of the world with "mad men". >> "breaking bad". >> better than any movies out there. >> look at number one here, reverend al, personal friend of mine, nate silver. >> nate silver.
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>> personal friend. >> personal friend of mine. we're close. nate silver number one, dominated talk in 2012. >> and the rise of big data and all the things that people think come from data, one of the things i love about nate, he recognizes the numbers alone don't solve -- don't give all the answers. >> right. >> you have to be creative. >> as his sports predictions prove. there was a 98.6378% chance he was going to win this year. >> well, you know, he looks at numbers in the way that no one else does and that's what makes nate -- >> he picks the right numbers. there's so many bad numbers out there. last year there were so many numbers, and he picked the right polls. >> i think these are the -- served the themes that people are missing in general about data. people think data is going to give everyone the right answers and you have to look at it the right way. >> your friend number two sam sung -- >> the chief designer of samsung. >> dong-hoon chang.
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>> because samsung has come out of nowhere to challenge apple in terms of the design and lgn andt for their products. >> and their phone, seen more and more people with them. >> do you like the one you don't have to touch it anymore. >> i like it -- i'm trying to get my work e-mail on it so i can use it -- >> she's trying to fall in love with samsung. >> eats my lunch for me. >> that's right. >> it will eat my meals for me. >> reverend, what kind of phone do you have? >> i have an iphone. >> yeah. >> i want to talk about -- >> doesn't eat my lunch. >> you don't eat anymore. you're shrinking, man. you need to read "obsessed" by mika brzezinski. >> i have been obsessed by reading "obsessed". >> the definition of creativity, the fact you can talk about nate silver, shows creativitity can be applied to anything. not just about creative things. it can be crunching numbers can
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be done creatively. >> you're talking about politics and things going on in washington and how things stop. business for good or bad is the vehicle for change and progress in our world right now. creativity is coming out of there. that's what we're trying to encourage and highlight. >> and we've talked about, obviously, tv, we need to talk about number 8, brian canston remarkable actor in "breaking bad" but sometimes the greatest ideas, most of the times, the greatest ideas are the most simple ideas. talk about number 10, water. >> i'm sorry? >> number 10, chat irty, water. >> charity water. >> number 10. this guy -- >> scott harrison had such a remarkable concept. >> simple idea. >> so simple. water something we take for granted but is a tremendous danger and costs lives all across the world. he's gotten people excited about bringing water to places that don't have it. welt and other things and being able in real time to see the --
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how your money is being used in these communities. >> and the key is, he brings clean water to places like africa that don't have access to clean well water and the simplicity is what's so dramatic. >> very, very cool list. >> who else is on the list? >> stands out to you? >> part of this list, it's an all new list every year. we never repeat anyone on the list. there's new people. a doctor named carl june using hiv virus strains to find cures for leukemia. right. you know, the team of women who did the daily dunking of oreo, the daily oreo things that were on the social media, the head of social media for facebook in india. it's a wide range of people. and i love this list because i get so excited about the range of creativity and new ideas coming out from an inventor in sierra leone to the chief designer in south korea. >> you talk about a guy who,
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quote, kicked apple's butt, google maps. >> closing in, continues to involve apple. trying to like heck to make themselves ket competitive in that map space. >> i keep driving into lakes. >> who's missing? >> louis. >> phil griffin says he's the future of tv. >> maybe next year we'll keep our eye. >> i like that. >> "fast company's" 100 most creative business people, make sure you get it. >> bob safian, this is great. by the way, unlike those shameless hacks at "gq," i bet there are no pictures of kate upton in here. >> well, i'm not so sure. >> no, no. is there? nate silver. >> bob woodward is coming up straight ahead. more "morning joe" in just a moment. ♪
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joe." little cleanup business here. so we -- papers we did the story about "usa today" about the two officials that resigned, two pictures here. one is danny werfel and the
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other steve miller. steve miller.ny werfell. >> steve grant. >> they have two pictures. steve miller "fly like an eagle," "junging land" he's out. >> mika, congratulations. you know this is incredible, okay. donny. her first three books, she lands in the top ten of the "new york times" best seller list, three for three. >> that's amazing. >> it's unbelievable. >> i've said this before, what's great about this book, if you're somebody that likes diet books it's a home run, if you're somebody who is the most sophisticated social scientist, it brings -- it's fantastic. >> reverend al, book clubs across -- >> we're doing it in our book club. it's a great book. anything that you can get joe and i to agree on has got to be -- >> oh, lord. >> thank you. >> that's right.
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>> very much. >> still ahead, acclaimed hollywood producer jerry weintraub will be here and up next, bob woodward. >> i know. >> stop. bob woodward weighs in on the government's seizure of the ap phone records and chuck todd joins the discussion. keep it right here on "morning joe." but we can still help you see your big picture. with the fidelity guided portfolio summary, you choose which accounts to track and use fidelity's analytics to spot trends, gain insights, and figure out what you want to do next. all in one place. i'm meredith stoddard and i helped create the fidelity guided portfolio summary. it's one more innovative reason serious investors are choosing fidelity. now get 200 free trades when you open an account. that can make your skin grow more beautiful every time you wear it.
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and donny deutsch back at the table. joining us from washington, pulitzer-prize winning associate editor of "the washington post" bob woodward and we'll start with the latest headlines this hour. in a few minutes we'll simultaneous with the "today" show so i'll bring us into that. president obama facing ongoing questions is it stemming from the irs's targeting of conservative groups. with the first of several hearings set to kick off today, a second irs official is stepping down. he follows the agency's acting commissioner who announced his resignation earlier this week. now a white house budget official will take over the irs. meanwhile we've learned the irs staffer that wa er ther that in tea party groups were targeted is now in charge. >> bob woodward, the first time you've been back since all of these -- we're not exactly sure, do you call them scandals? do you call them elapses?
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we're not sure what you call them, but what do you make of what's happened over the past week and a half? >> starting with the irs, what's the impact? >> okay. well it's a big mess, obviously. i know there have been these comparison to watergate. i would say not yet, joe. you've made the point which i think is absolutely correct that you've got to investigate all of these things. the congress, the obama administration itself, needs to dig in to find out exactly what happened. what -- if you -- i mean i would start with the ap, these subpoenas for phone records, from the justice department because i think that there are considerations there that have not been aired, namely if you go back to the pentagon papers decision which held that the press cannot be restrained, there can be no prior restraint for publication of the story,
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that was 1971, really for four decades, there have been relations between the government and the media because they can't restrain me from publishing. i will go to the government and say, i've got details about this cia operation and there is a dialog, very constructive dialog, that goes on. the ap did precisely this. they went to the government and held the story. and then the government turns around and says, oh, my god, we've got a leak so we're going to issue this very broad subpoena for 20 telephone lines. well what that could do, quite likely, is chill the relationship so reporters will say why the hell should i go to the government. >> exactly. >> they're just going to go after my records. >> exactly. bob, you raise a couple of different questions which we're going to get deeper into the package here in our first 20 minutes of the show.
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right now we'll turn to the "today" show and matt lauer, talking to joe scarborough. they're going to be talking about the opportunities for the republican party as well here with hearings set today. let's listen to matt. >> at the white house, chuck, thank you very much. joe scarborough the host of "morning joe" on msnbc which is airing right now. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> three scandals if you will, kind of unfolding at the same time. the president spoke out at that press conference pretty forcefully on thursday. did he do and say what he needed to do to stop the bleeding a little bit? >> well, first of all, it has been a bad week politically for the president, despite what he said yesterday, but he's certainly at the very least sent a message to democrats and his supporters that he was going to push back, he was going to fight back. this president has been far too passive. he's still going to face a lot of really tough questions. i would guess even tougher questions from ap reporters about how it could be with all of these scandals or whatever
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you want to call them breaking, he's learning about them when he reads the morning newspapers. a lot of people just don't buy it. he's back on his heels still. there's obviously, matt, an irs hearing today. >> right. >> up on capitol hill. we'll see how that goes. and breaking news last night, that the person that was in charge of the tax exempt area in the irs, is now running obama care, so it looks like they may have actually fired the wrong person at the irs and the person responsible may have got an promotion. >> let me ask you this, steven miller, ousted head of the irs, will testify on capitol hill today. what would you ask him? >> well, i would ask him what he knew and when he knew it and i would also try to figure out -- and, in fact, he may have just been the fall guy. i would want to know where did this policy start, who talked about it at first, how did it grow with inside the organization and i would like to know who he spoke with in the administration? who else outside of the irs knew about this. the first story from the white
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house was, oh, you know what, this is just a field office in cincinnati. >> right. >> a bunch of low-level employees. we found out later that just wasn't true. >> joe, during the press conference yesterday, the president spoke out and supported eric holder, the attorney general. is holder's job safe in your opinion? >> it certainly is. i mean the president will stay with eric holder until the very end. remember, eric holder has been under attack from the time almost he got sworn in. there's been one republican dust up after another. republicans would call them scandals. they've demanded his resignation time and time again. you saw him push back very hard on capitol hill, to darrell issa, chairman of the house oversight committee. that was a very strong signal that this guy knows he has the backing of his president and he can push back as hard as he wants on the hill. >> joe scarborough, host of "morning joe," joe, thanks very much for your time. >> thank you so much, matt. we appreciate it. >> you got. >> and republicans at this point looking ahead to the hearing today have to be careful not to
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overstep. >> well, yeah. reverend al, that's the question, you look at "the new york times" headline today and they talk about, you know, gop enterprise weigh how far to take the inquiries. >> well, see, a lot -- i think you've got to divide the issue. i think where you look at the freedom of the press or intimidating the press is one issue, is a legitimate issue with ap that all of us are concerned about. that's separate than dealing with whether the president or the attorney general was involved, because you can on one hand, like you just so eloquently said on the "today" show, question the former commissioner at the irs and say, what did you know? but when holder comes, the attorney general, you talk to him like you had to know. well, what would he have to know that the -- that on the other hand somebody in another situation -- >> by the way, i know eric and i like eric, but i -- the thing i don't get, bob woodward, and
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what doesn't make me suspicious by weary and peggy noonan points this out very well, everybody is saying eric holder is saying -- i didn't know this was going on. i didn't know this was going on. i recuse myself. i didn't know. we're hearing from the white house. i didn't know. the irs told us last week, we didn't know. it ended up not being true. the top people at the irs did know. i can't believe that eric holder didn't know. i can't believe that the president didn't know, that all of these things were going on. if i'm president of the united states and there's a leak out there, i'm going to turn to my people and say, what are you going to do about it? what are you doing about it? we've launched an investigation. i can't believe the president learned about all of this stuff when he picked up the newspaper last week. >> no way it's a random act. let's figure it out. >> well, that's what -- >> this sounds like ronald reagan 1986 during iran-contra. >> well, we're going to find out the answers to that, but i mean, what is astonishing just take
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hypothetically, say, joe, they made you treasury secretary. >> oh, good god. >> unlikely. >> frightening. >> there's a chance. >> okay. maybe. let's see. but just -- you go in to the job the first months like jack lew, who's -- who is somebody who served in the government at all kinds of levels, budget director, white house chief of staff for president obama, worked for tip o'neill back in the '80s, knows government. you get that job and you're going to have all kinds of policy discussions with the people in the treasury department, the irs which reports to the treasury secretary, and you're also going to have that meeting where you call in the inspector general and the lawyers and you're going to say, where are the bodies buried? you're going to ask the very simple question of everyone, what is the thing you don't want to tell me about that i need to know? >> and bob -- jack lew --
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>> apparently this doesn't happen. >> jack lew is the type of guy who would ask those questions. he's not sloppy. that is the first thing you do when you go into a bureaucracy, as big as the treasury department, you call everybody and go, what's going on? what's been happening before i got here? what do i need to know about? and everybody that's worth their weight in salt will say, i don't want to be blindsidesed, never let me be blindsided, give me the worst news first and let's work from there. everybody. i can't believe that he was in the dark also. >> and that you want to make sure you don't embarrass the irs, the treasury secretary, or the president. and so you have to be that shield and that means you need to be really inquisitive and dig into these things. you look at the inspector general's report on the irs, this started in 2010 and you go through the 20-page chronology,
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i mean it makes your head hurt. there are so many examples of things going on that are abusive, where they are clearly singling out tea party conservative groups in a way, you know -- be where were the other people in the irs saying, hey, wait a minute, what are we doing here? the -- you know, if we just got a bureaucracy run wild or do we have a situation where there's no communication up through the treasury secretary to the white house. that's the big question or one of those that needs to be answered. >> let's bring in chuck todd right now. chuck, i mean the question that arises, and bob brought it up and somebody else brought it up a at 6:00 a.m. this morning, where were the whistle blowers? if the rampant abuse was going on, the targeting of some -- questions, what books are you all reading? what books are you reading? this is frightening. not one person, not one
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bureaucrat in the irs that is not chilled by this type of behavior? >> well, that's why you have to sit there and say either answer is a bad answer. >> that's right. >> there you go. >> it was a conspiracy or incompetency. but what -- let's say it's incompeten incompetency, let's assume the benefit of the doubt here and this is bureaucrats being stupid and incompetent and not realizing the extent of what they were doing. well, that's not good either. okay. and that doesn't give a lot of confidence to the public that this is the agency that's going to have at least a small role when it comes to health care and dealing with the mandate that this is -- >> that answer feeds into small government conservatives' viewpoint of what, you know, government's too big. >> right. >> david axelrod said it's too vast. these things sort of happen. that's the worst answer for progressives which is government is incompetent. >> government doesn't work. >> this sort of abuse happens
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just because it's so big. >> right. it becomes this government doesn't work and then how does that affect immigration reform? >> right. >> we're putting a lot more effort into dhs, making it a bigger department, to try to have the ability to secure the border. you know, so this is -- this is why if you're the white house, you've got to be on top of this irs thing from here on out in this respect -- you can't have any more -- we're all digging, right? media is digging, house republicans are digging, frankly senate democrats are going to be digging, everybody is going to be picking at the irs and looking to see is there anything in here, any stone that hasn't been turned over yet, anything we're missing here. if the -- if there is something, the white house and treasury department better be first to find it. it's in their interest to be first to find it before anybody else finds it. they have to figure out a way to restore credibility in this agency because this is the one that the public will pay attention to. this is the one that will just
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completely -- >> it has legs. >> benghazi is lit gaited over and over. that's a polarized -- if you wear a red shirt or blue shirt, your mind is not going to get changed. >> yeah. >> the irs is different. >> the irs is. >> but -- >> can i disagree? >> this affects -- >> can i really quickly, we need to get to sam stein, he's been here six 6:00 a.m., his mother hasn't heard him say a complete sentence. sam, we got him out of prep school to come here today and he's wearing his best tie. really quickly, sam, let me -- let me say personally how this impacts the debate. >> yeah. >> i have been saying for months now, and i -- everybody knows this, that i believe we need background checks. >> yeah. >> i believe we need -- after newtown, after all -- chicago, after -- we need background checks. my argument has been, don't worry, background checks aren't going to lead to a national registry. they'll never -- the government's never going to
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create a national registry, right? >> yeah. >> and there's even something here that says it's a felony if you -- i don't have to complete my sentence, do i? my argument is less persuasive today because of these scandals. because people say, hey, if they do that with the irs, asking people what books you read. >> good point. >> then how can i trust them with information about my second amendment rights. >> which is why the irs -- >> this is devastating. this irs scandal is devastating. all across the board. as chuck said, immigration reform, background checks, you name it. it's a devastating scandal. >> yes. >> thank you, sam stein. bob woodward, back to you. >> first of all -- >> let me say this. i think you're right. it feeds into this notion that either government is inept or corrupt. you know, it's hard for me to see how the white house gets out of this without coming off a
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little bit damaged in their other elements of legislation. i will say this, with respect to the criticism of the white house, there's two threads. one we're hearing from republicans, the arrogance of power, and the other is that obama wasn't there. those two actually -- they compete with each other. i think you're right, though, it hurts immigration reform and gun control. >> bob woodward, do you agree with that and on the issue of inept or corrupt, where do you lean? because i just can't imagine this is incompetence? it would have to be incredibly stupid. >> you have to keep an open mind on that you're talking about government not working but who's in charge of the executive branch. you go to the constitution and the president has sole responsibility for the executive branch. this rests on him. you were talking earlier about kind of dismissing the benghazi issue as one that's just political and the president
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recently said it's a side show, but if you read through alls these e-mails, you see that everyone in the government is saying, oh, let's not tell the public that terrorists were involved, people connected to al qaeda. let's not tell the public that there were warnings. i hate to show, this is one of the documents with the editing that one of the people in the state department said, oh, let's not let these things out. and i have it to go back 40 years to watergate when nixon put out his edited transcripts of the conversations and he personally went through them and said let's not tell this, let's not show this. i would not dismiss benghazi. it's a very serious issue. as people keep saying, four people were killed. you look at the hydraulic pressure that was in the system
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to not tell the truth, and, you know, we use this term and the government uses this term, talking points. talking points, as we know, are like legal briefs. they're an argument on one side. we need to get rid of talking point and they need to put out statements or papers that are truth documents. okay. this is all we know. >> guys, i'm going to tell you, if i left the set here and went on the new york subway train and started talking to people about the ap, about benghazi, and even the irs, they would all say, of course the government screwed up, of course it's bureaucratic, yeah, and? this does not stick to the president. i disagree with you. unless he's got his -- >> that's the point. >> unless he has his hands -- >> i the irs. >> donny, i'm going to let you run my health care? i'm going to let you take care of -- you can't even stop irs
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agents from calling people up and asking them what books they read and you want to control my health care? >> you think the average person thinks that the president ever -- >> the average person is not stupid. >> i agree and i think the average person can separate a vast bureaucracy of -- listen to me -- of incompetence and often sometimes corruption and a president who's got his hands on it. >> joe -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> an ability to separate. >> the average person will ask, as i said before, did they go to their superior? not did they go to the president? when did the president get it? why didn't their superior, republican appointed commissioner, shuman, why didn't he -- >> you think they're saying that on the subway? >> i would -- i would ask why didn't anybody -- >> on the subway -- >> why didn't a whistle blower go to who was in charge at the irs. >> i just have to say, the benghazi thing, yeah, people are going to tune it out at this point because it's been litigated. >> very convoluted.
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>> the irs thing is so basic, hold on -- >> it's not the president. >> i understand. >> however, it is a government agency that used political filters to target groups. >> but who used them? >> i understand. >> but it resonates. >> you aren't asking the same questions we're asking. i'm not saying, reverend, i'm not saying donny, that barack obama is going to be run out of office. he may even leave office with a 60% approval rating. i don't know, chuck todd, but i know this, it's going to be harder for the president of the united states to talk about a strong progressive government getting things done moving forward. it's harder for him to get things done with -- whether it's more health care reform, whether it's background checks, whatever it is. you guys are arguing something i'm not arguing here. >> it's called politics and -- >> this is devastating for the president. >> remember, joe, the basic premise of the two parties right now, which is, you know, the democrats want to show how government can make -- can help you make your life better and
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republicans want to prove to you that government's in the way, incompetent and too big. that's sort of the basic -- the basic premise of both parties right now and the irs scandal goes at the -- hits the democrat s at the heart -- hurts them at the heart of what they're arguing about government. let's just -- i mean one thing here, you know, there is still a larger part of government that works very well, whether it's the military, whether it's any part of this. i mean, this is sometimes we all go over the top, beating up government workers, you know, all of them, they're all incompetent or corrupt. >> thank you. >> let's at least remember, let's hope at least, that it is a small slice of incompetency inside the irs. >> bob woodward, final word to you, of course henry kissinger famously said, in politics perception is reality. we're not talking about the reality across the federal government. we are talking about this president pushing a progressive agenda moving forward and whether it's the irs or the ap
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or even to some benghazi, this makes his job harder? >> but he's in charge, and this takes you back to the, i think, roman numeral one thing here which is leadership. if he were here and we asked him, are you happy to not know these things that are going on in the government you're in charge of, clearly he can't be happy. and it has to do with competence, it has to do with that component of government that requires vigilance and vigilance starts at the top and it did not happen in these cases. >> yeah. no doubt about it. >> bob woodward, thank you very much. cluck, we'll see you coming up on "the daily rundown." up next david gregory joins us with a preview of "meet the press." congressman vern buchanan who will question the irs's questioning of conservative groups. you're watching "morning joe"
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is the state department more culpable than, perhaps, you personally first realized in terms of what they asked to be removed? >> culpable of what? what we saw from the beginning was the cia took the lead in drafting talking points and that the talking points that became the source of all this foe controversy stirred up by republicans were drafted by the cia. and what the release of these e-mails show is that republicans are wrong. they were wrong then and they're wrong now. >> all right. here with us now from washington, moderator of "meet the press," david gregory. i want to ask you about that sound bite and from capitol hill, republican representative from florida, and member of the ways and means committee, congressman vern buchanan. good to have you on the show. david let me read charles
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krauthammer from "the washington post" after hearing what jay carney said last night. this is what charles writes, on november 28th press secretary jay carney told the media that state and the white house edited nothing, but a single trivial word. when the e-mail trail later revealed this to be false, carney doubled down. last friday, he repeated that the cia itself made the edits after the normal input from various agencies. that was a bridge too far for even the heretoforesupine mainstream media. the cia may have typed the final edits but the orders came from on high. you cannot tell a room full of journalists that when your editor tells you to strike four paragraphs from your text, and you do, there were no edits because you are the one who turned in the final copy. david, what is carney's role here and is it being characterized fairly? >> well, i think jay carney was inaccurate when he said that the state department was not involved. clearly they were.
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there was an interagency process that was being hon choed at the white house representing the intelligence community, state, the national security council, all contributing to these talking points and as we know from the newer e-mails david petraeus was questioning what the utility of the talking points were in the end if you were going to have all these points taken out. there's interagency fighting going on between the state department and the cia, and so there were clearly edits made. i think the argument that the white house is making is, what does it actually amount to, which may be a separate argument from whether jay carney was inaccurate about what he actually said about this initially. >> all right. let's look ahead to what's going to be happening today, which includes a hearing with the ways and means committee on the irs scandal. vern buchanan, you're on the ways and means committee. you will be questioning, among others, the acting commissioner of the irs who resigned, steve miller. what do you plan to ask him?
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>> well, i think it's a little bit what bob woodward talked about is leadership. i'm concerned about the culture of the irs. someone that's been in business for 30 years, i know that there's a belief and a value system, that culture can be good or it can be bad. but obviously we have a lot of problems within the irs, a lot of problems that need to get addressed and answered and that would be my biggest thing. the second thing i want to take a look at those involved. there's a bunch of people we know that were involved. one got promoted. the bottom line, they need to be fired i think in the next few days or so. the big issue is who is going to come in and take over? we have someone coming in as the acting commissioner of the irs and i want to make sure that they have the competence and ability to lead this organization forward. we can't be in the business of targeting americans. >> well, and that's the question, is how the white house actually restores confidence, david gregory? >> congressman, i'm curious to know given that congress, republican members of the ways and means committee were
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questioning this very issue going back about a year, what specifically do you want to know about how these questions and the scrutiny was disregarded or not acted upon within the irs or more broadly within the administration and the treasury department? >> yeah. i've got a copy of the i.g. report today that we'll be taking a look at and questioning. that's one of the things that didn't get considered in here and i know this isn't just the republicans, it's on the democratic side. they were questioning the targeting, the intimidation of people that were coming forward, so i think that's going to be a big part of the hearing today. but, you know, i'm going to be focusing in on not just that, but i'm more concerned about the culture, what's happening with inside the irs. i think it's a lack of leadership. we've got 90,000 employees. they need to be led with the right principles and values in terms of this organization going forward, in terms of restoring the credibility of the irs. >> sam stein? >> congressman, hi. i want to broaden this out a little bit.
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between 2009 and 2012, there's a two foldp increase of those applying for the tax exem status. the i.g. report concluded a lot of clearance was given to groups clearly not social welfare groups, doing politics. so in your estimation, putting aside the mall feasance that happened at the irs what does the government do about the rise of all these 501 c 4 groups and the issue of broader issue of money and politics? >> well again, they have 90,000 employees. they need to find a way to process these on an equal footing so there's no discrimination, no intimidation, so that everybody gets the same opportunity to make sure their application gets processed and approved on a timely basis. this has been going on for a couple years. but i think -- i hope that it's not beyond this. there's a lot of people we're hearing from now that have concerns, individuals that might have been donors, companies, organizations, other organizations, so this could be a much broader than just, you know, the people we're talking about being targeted. >> congressman, donny deutsch,
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especially sin there's a lot of fresh red meat on the table for the republicans, you're about to go for the 37th time to repeal health care. i'm a voter, part of the public, is it maybe time to move on and get off that at this point? >> again, i'm -- i'm concerned about obama care simply because, donny, you're in business, i've been in business, health care costs continue to go up 20% a year for small, medium-sized businesses. it's not doing anything to bend the curve on health care. i think it's a big concern going forward. i can tell you my district all throughout florida, people are very concerned. their number one issue for small business is affordable and av l available health care and they have no answers. i think this is going to be a huge challenge, government taking on this role of going forward and i think the democrats and probably a lot of people are very concerned about it. >> right now, david gregory, we are showing a kaiser family foundation poll, only 35% of americans have a favorable impression of obama care. roughly the same amount of people who believe the federal
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government blew up building seven at -- during 9/11. i mean that is a small percentage to support such landmark legislation several years after it passes. the embarrassing news for the obama administration yesterday, that the person that ran the non-profit section of the irs, not fired, not demoted, not put into a rubber room, michael bloomberg rubber room, but instead promoted to some would say the most important political position in the irs, which is the implementation of obama care. >> how does that happen? >> how does that? i think we fired a figure head here. >> david? >> i mean, how does that happen is exactly right and when does the president find out about it? this is about being in charge of your government to the point where you can credibly make the argument that government is part of the answer. remember, what chuck todd said a few minutes ago is true in terms of, you know, the republican team and democratic team in terms of you view government, but that's always been -- there's always been differences
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between the two parties. this has been exacerbated by the fact that the republican party is trying to see its way back to smaller government after they believe what are the excesses of the bush years, bank bailouts and auto bailout. here's what else people know about obama care. they may not know how it helps them. they know this, if they're an employee, a salaried employee, and they get their pay stubs when they get their paycheck on fridays, what do they see is a new line item? and it's called the medicare sur tax. and it's a lot of money. it's new taxes that we are paying to fund obama care across the board. >> yeah. >> may not know how it helps you but you know what it's taking away from you. >> i'll tell you what -- >> that goes to the point of -- >> joe, i would just say, just want to say -- >> let me say vern, quickly, want to follow up on that point, we have a lot of people in washington talking about obama care, a lot of people in manhattan talking about obama care. i don't know what they're saying on the subways about this, donny, we were talking about
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what they were saying on the subways, i can tell you what they're saying, though, small business owners across pensacola, northwest florida, middle america, iowa, they're saying, this is going to cost my small business a lot of money. and the regulations are going to be high. and we're going to have to also cut some of my best employees to blow 30 hours or else i can't afford to stay in business. this -- and this is all going to hit, vern, in 2014. >> yeah. i think a lot of people in the higher employee, this is the thing that gets missed. 20 years ago you hired an employee, paid him $50,000, there was a 22% cost additional costs in hiring that employee in terms of benefits. today it's 42, 44% someone was telling me the other day. at the heart of that is the whole thing on health care. i get questions all the time where someone has 72 employees, they say i'm going to have to cut back to under 50. so there's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of angst out there, and just the cost of health care in general is completely and it
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totally out of control for anybody in small business. it's not unusual for someone to say they're paying $2,000 a month for their family of four for health care today. >> costs keep going up. >> here's certainty for people who had preexisting conditions and couldn't get insurance that are now insured. >> young people. >> there is certainty for young people that are covered that would not have been covered. >> there's care now. >> preventative care. there's certainty in a lot of areas that people were left out. >> right. >> and a lot of small businesses have come forward and supported obama care. i think that -- i understand the republicans objection. they lost it. and i think that -- >> i'm not just talking about republicans. i'm talking about -- you know, i don't know if you know that i know that democrats own small businesses too. >> they do. >> democrats are concerned about this as well. >> many of those small businesses supported obama care for some of the reasons i named and other reasons. and i think that it is very important that we understand that a lot of americans want to see all americans in a position to be insured, that we wewere n
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before. >> anybody on the panel not think that americans should have access to health care? all of them? >> david's point, the argument becomes simple for the republicans, it costs more money. >> david's point, hold on, there is a sur tax issue that everyone is going to feel. but that sur tax, that money goes to subsidize people's health care. while people will feel a tax issue a lot of people will fill money in their pocket to buy health care. >> the question is -- >> the government to administer the program. >> yes but -- >> and that's come out this past week. also, those people may have more money in their pockets but if they're small businesses shut down or have to get rid of them because they have to cut below 50 employees, then suddenly -- it ends up hurting them more than helping them. it's a terrible balancing act and i think it's going to be following the white house throughout 2014. and they're going to have to make some adjustments on the fly. david, who do you have on sunday's "meet the press"? >> we have mitch mcconnell,
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we've got dan pfeiffer, senior adviser to the white house, dave camp, chairman of the ways and means will be taking on the irs issue today. >> that's great. >> that's a great show. >> donny says he's going to invite himself. vern buchanan, thank you. always great seeing you. >> i thought you would be in washington today. >> no. no. next week maybe. next week. i'll see you next week. >> just a low-key day here. >> thank you. it's going to be a big day. >> "gq's" annual comedy issue. >> yes. >> look, a girl in a bikini. michael hainey still finds a way to get images like these in the magazi magazine. >> we are going to ask him. >> he does objectify women. i find it very offensive. it's terrible. >> so do i. as a trainer, i see a lot of people
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you are partnering with the national association of [ inaudible ] to help get urgent health care to the people who need it the most. >> we're doing free clinics. in fact, in new orleans on july 3rd, i'm doing politics nation. we're getting people out there that have not seen doctors at
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all and try to get them checked out. a whole free clinic around the country and we're asking people to support it. >> in new orleans 9:30. >> talk about doing god's work and going down to new orleans, a city still hurting. >> still hurting and in very, very dire need of health care and i think what they're doing with these clinics are phenomenal. that's why we want to be part of it. >> reverend al harp ston, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> who's better than the reverend, nobody? >> there's no one. okay. >> my daddy is better. >> where did you get the idea for that. >> all that stuff really happened. >> but you made up the country, right? iran, how did you come up with that? >> iran is a real place. >> i think you mean iraq. >> those are two different places. >> the beard? >> the beard is fake, yes. >> i knew it. >> ben aftfleck featured in the
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"gq's" issue ahead of his final appearance this weekend on "snl." michael hainey joins us with a look inside the magazine next on "morning joe." with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card.
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who could it be? who am i? >> is it a man? >> is it a he? >> i am a man. >> is he alive? >> is this person still alive? >> have you talked today? >> am i a movie actor? >> yes. >> not a tv actor. >> you girls consider him a hottie. >> like a funny guy. >> jim carey. >> will ferrell. >> steve carell. >> has he ever [ inaudible ]. >> yes. >> really good. those comedians. >> slept on my couch. >> james franco on the cover of "gq" magazine, its annual comedy issue. they did skip a year.
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here with us now, deputy editor michael hainey. >> i was going to ask you about kate upton, but i have been -- my eyes have been drawn to will arnett. >> you like that. >> sort of. >> i am a tv star and here to help and you know, will arnett, i think -- >> this is hilarious. >> always said this to will arnett, the guy cares too much. >> yeah. a tough job. >> he's cooling things down on the city streets over here, mouth to mouth resuscitation, this poor young woman. it's horrible. and here, i think this is the most important. he has spilled ketchup all over this poor young lady, never mind the guy choking on a hot dog in the background. can we zoom in on that picture really quickly. >> i like the guy choking. >> will arnett, is anybody better than will arnett? >> exactly. >> this is a great issue. no pictures of kate upton, but a great issue. >> in the last half hour, we need a little comic relief. >> thank god. >> and james franco, strange pick to put on the cover of a
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comedy issue except this movie coming out. >> "the end of the world" probably one of the funniest you will see all summer. it has everyone in it. takes place at james franco's house, the world ends. you have to see it to believe it. >> characters play themselves? >> everyone is playing themselves including rihanna, michael, seth rogen, and -- i don't want to give away too much but we have a world history in the making of the movie. even these comedians who are used to sort of really going there, they were shocked at the lines they were saying. >> if we want to see -- >> the guy from -- >> more funny stuff, see it on-line. >> see it at gq.com. >> who directed that? >> i knew you were going to ask me. i did not direct it. >> that's a really, really cool concept. >> very funny. >> will arnett. who else? >> we've got will arnett, bill hader is going to be this weekend which is a great sort of roundup of his comedy.
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you know that site, awkward family photos. have you seen it? >> oh, yeah. >> awkward family photos. >> i loved it. >> frightened bassett hound there. >> sure is. >> where's kate upton? >> no kate upton. >> donnie, "saturday night live" losing some of their best people. >> laura michaels is about the smartest guy and he'll figure it out but they are losing seth myers, bill hader, seth arnason, one of their other -- >> and also probably jason sedakus. they always transition, there's always been a tent pole person. they don't have that right now. it will be an interesting moment in time for "snl" but loren will figure it out. >> what the heck is that? >> that is -- i knew you'd -- i predicted -- do you know about the kid rock cruise? there are people who pay to go on a cruise with kidd rock and
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you get five days at sea with kidd rock. >> is that a passenger? >> that is a passenger. >> really. that just makes me want to go on the cruise even more. >> i'm signing up for it. do you get to hang with him? >> you get to hang with him. he judges a talent contest. >> really. >> i'm in. >> so it's like a national review. >> i won't tell you the -- remember the poop boat last year? >> yeah. >> it was previously used for the kidd rock cruise. >> that makes sense to me. >> take "morning joe" to the kidd rock cruise. >> i'll tell you an unbelievable story. this is a fantastic story speaking of -- it's dear leader, dreams of sushi, a true story by a guy adam johnson who just won the pulitzer prize and a true story of a guy in japan who has been the sushi chef for kim jong un and unbelievable. you want to talk about comedy this is a coen brothers movie waiting to be made. he escaped from korea, came
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back, and tells his tale of cooking sushi for the great leader. >> you guys have done a great job with this magazine. >> thank you. >> really interesting. years and years ago it was kind of a little cheesy men's fashion and you guys have really -- >> oh, come on. >> no, no. >> guys, you have moved it to an incredible, incredible magazine about contemporary men, really smart. that's hard to do. >> really smart with embarrassing family photos. >> yes. >> we all have them. i think, you know, again, that sushi piece is a great example. >> yeah. >> we got the national magazine award for feature writing. >> it's great. >> again, need a little comedy every season. >> i'm announcing a new, cheesy men's magazine. since there is a void. >> there is a void. the 50 most hilarious things that ever hit the internet. that and more and gq's annual comedy issue out. >> nice having you. >> still ahead lawrence
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book debuts in the top ten of the "new york times." >> this is very exciting. >> this is her third book. >> this is exciting. >> all three of them debuted in the top ten. i think maybe shakespeare did that. i don't think anybody else did. >> not even shakespeare. >> the bible, shakespeare, and i think maybe chauser one year but that was really it. this is a serious book. great book. any female on the planet should buy this book. >> and male. >> we actually -- you got a really good review from jim garrity at "national review" who took it home and read it over the weekend and it really changed his way of looking at eating. this isn't just a women's book. it is important for men as well. >> i was nervous. >> looking for his target. he doesn't quite know what his set point is. >> oh, i'm looking for my set weight point. that's what mika talks about. you can be very unhealthy if you're below that set point as mika was or above it. i'm hoping my set point is like
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358 pounds or something. >> i think you're at it about right now. >> can you bring out the slurpees, alan? >> okay. thank you, guys. the irs official in charge of the department that targeted conservative groups wasn't fired. instead, she is now heading up the office responsible for obama care. that's next on "morning joe." for over 125 years we've been bringing people together. today we'd like people to come together on something that concerns all of us...obesity. and as the nations leading beverage company we can play an important role. that includes continually providing more options. giving people easy ways to help make informed choices. and offering portion controlled versions of our most popular drinks. it also means working with our industry to voluntarily change whats offered in schools. but beating obesity will take continued action by all of us. based on one simple common sense fact,
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good morning. it's 8:00 a.m. on the east coast 5:00 a.m. on the west coast as
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you take a live look at new york city. back with us onset sam stein, donnie deutsch, reverend al sharpton. in nashville john meacham. we've got a lot of big stories to cover this morning. nbc's peter alexander is live at the white house. senior investigative correspondent lisa myers is in our washington bureau. and nbc congressional correspondent luke russert standing by on capitol hill. mika, a lot to talk about. we talk about a white house fighting back. >> absolutely. president obama is facing ongoing questions stemming from the irs's targeting of conservative groups. with the first of several hearings on the issue set to kick off today, a second irs official is stepping down. he follows the agency's acting commissioner who announced his resignation earlier this week. now a white house budget official will take over the irs, meanwhile we learn the irs staffer who was in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time the tea party groups were
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targeted -- >> got fired, right? >> well, no. that person -- >> suspended? >> hum. a little different than that nk i bet they demoted him. put him in a position that is not going to be important as we move forward. >> maybe in a holding room. no. >> really. kind of like, you remember where bloomberg would put the teachers, you know? they didn't want to fire? the rubber room. i bet they put this person that botched this up so terribly in like a rubber room. right? >> no. that person is now responsible for the irs office that handles health care legislation. >> ha! i'm sorry. let's go to the white house. nbc news' peter alexander. that's not on your menu this morning. are you serious? >> yeah. >> is it -- did they break this last night? >> maybe there is something we don't understand. maybe there is a strategy and peter can explain it to us. >> i don't know. that's not why we called peter here. peter gets up. he wakes up. he's on his off day, right? he says, we're going to come in and we throw this stuff at him.
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peter, what we wanted to talk about first of all and then you can respond to this because i'm sure everybody is going to be talking about it today. >> sure. i'm checking it out. >> let's talk about yesterday, though. you really had, i think, a white house aggressive on all fronts really trying to counter some of the republican attacks. >> yeah. i was among those journalists sitting in the rose garden yesterday and i said to andrea mitchell at the time on msnbc this was the perfect metaphor for what the last week has looked like for this white house. we were sitting out there. the president was late by 49 minutes to come out to the rose garden for this conference. for those who say there's been a lag time in terms of his response that was a metaphor as well. the dark clouds were swirling above us. ultimately it started to rain as the president walked out and had to bring the marines in to hold umbrellas over them. that is the way the white house has felt in recent days. as one noted to me it cleared up by the end of the thing and a lot of people feel like the white house tried yesterday to sort of surgically remove some
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of these issues and take them away from being on the defensive and try to go back on offensive with some more substantive action. they think they take it out, in the words of a senior adviser, out of the silliness of the political realm and put it back into the policy realm where the white house feels like it is strongest on the issue of irs with the new reforms they've urged to be implemented on the issue of the media shield law as it goes for the ap seizure of phone records and also benghazi, the president even before we asked questions said he was calling on congress to do more to bolster security overseas. >> and luke russert is on capitol hill right now. >> wow. >> let's bring you in here. the headline in the "new york times", gop energized. they've just got to ask how far do they take these inquiries? how hard do they push? there is a ways and means hearing today that is going to give us insight into that isn't there? >> yeah. a huge hearing, joe. the ways and means committee will get the former irs head mr. miller before them to answer
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questions as well as the inspector general mr. george who wrote this report that was so damaging to the irs. the question you bring up is how far is the gop going to push it? it is the cliche' in d.c. to say, look. they have to make it serious and can't make it into a witch hunt because they lose the political high ground. the best committee out of the gate in order to have these types of questions, joe, is the house ways and means committee. you remember from your time up here that is where the party puts its stars. not the god, guns, and guts people on the ways and means committee but the smart people, the people that understand the true mechanisms of government. they'll expect questions today to those two individuals from guys like dave camp, paul ryan, peter roscum, people who are very comfortable with the leadership and know the metrics well who ask tough, authoritative questions from the republican side. the democrats want to get in on this, too, joe. sandra levin is very fired up about this. if you can believe sandra levin the soft spoken man he is he wants to throw a few spears today because they want to show democrats don't want to be
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caught into this mess the irs has created. it will be fascinating to see how it plays out. >> it is. peter alexander, back at the white house, is the white house counting on republicans overplaying their hand? >> the white house feels pretty confidently when these things become partisan as they've insisted this has been since the beginning that's when republicans look bad and they start to look bad and that is why they're trying to focus on policy, you know, today hammering reporters saying they're going off to baltimore. this is the second day in their effort to focus on jobs, what americans are talking about. they're going to an elementary school to focus on prek education. they're going to focus on infrastructure. they're going to a dredging manufacturing company up there to try to make a difference on that front as well. you know, there is a whole nother topic we'll talk about. this is one of the items that hasn't been really addressed as we focus on the primary three scandals, the issue of the military sexual assaults. that's one that the president is personally furious about and acknowledged that members of his joint chiefs of staff who were
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here yesterday alongside the defense secretary are ashamed of as well. >> we're going to get to that and also about to go to lisa myers. first, joe, just talk about the risk of over playing the hands on the part of the republicans and what they can do at this point. especially looking ahead to the hearing today. >> you know, peggy noonan has a great op-ed in "the wall street journal" as peggy always does. this week, though, what she is talking about is how this is so extraordinarily important. it shouldn't be cheapened by 30-second ads. it's sort of a shot across the bow. you also had bill kristol "weekly standard" asking karl rove why he would immediately try to turn this into a 30-second ad. as peggy said this is extraordinarily important. all of these issues are very important. the president is acting like he's just learned all of this like us from newspapers. and that's very disturbing. >> right. >> we don't want our president to be that disconnected so republicans shouldn't over reach. they should find out why the president didn't know what he knew or find out what he knew and when. it is extraordinarily important.
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let's go to lisa myers quickly. i think that is actually what a lot of republicans are going to try to figure out today. when did the president figure all of this stuff out? and is he really, is he so disconnected from the irs that he and his attorney general and anybody that matters found out that this rampant abuse was going on in one of the top offices when the rest of us did? >> certainly, joe, the irs commissioner will be asked that question today. did he share this information? he has known for at least a year that this was going on. and that this had happened. and did he share any of that information with the white house? but even more importantly, congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? members of congress were saying, conservatives are being targeted. what is going on here? the irs denied it. then when -- after these officials are briefed by the ig that this is going on they don't disclose it. in fact, the commissioner sent a letter to congress in september on this subject and did not
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reveal this. imagine if you can what would have happened if this fact came out in september, 2012, in the middle of a presidential election. the terrain would have looked very different. >> very different. you know what we don't understand, lisa, reading all of these articles, maybe you can help us out here, why is it that the president fired somebody who really was on the periphery at best with this scandal if that's what you call it when it broke and the person in charge has been promoted to the most important political position in the irs which is -- because we had newt gingrich earlier this week saying if you can't trust the irs to do basic things how can we trust them to take care of your health care? even newt gingrich and the other republicans that were talking this line earlier in the week had no idea that the person at the irs that conducted these political some would say witch hunts are now the -- is a person at the irs that is going to be in the middle of this health
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care battle. >> well, you remove the commissioner because he is the guy at the top. he is the guy responsible. he has known and didn't tell anyone allegedly. i don't think this woman is going to be, who is now in charge of implementing obama care, is going to stay in that job for very long. now that this has been revealed. but there is a broader question here. even if you believe that this targeting was basically carried out by front line employees in the cincinnati office and there's a lot of reason to believe it was much broader than that, but if you do, you look at the time line and the series of middle managers working their way up the totem pole learns that this had happened and was going on. yet they see their agency deny it to congress. no one came forward as a whistle blower. so many people knew this had happened and no one had the integrity to come forward as correct the record. and so you have to worry about the entire culture i think and integrity of the irs.
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>> that's a great point. >> okay. john meacham and national as we look at this story with all the different angles and reporters covering it can you put it in historic perspective? as we look at it close up right now, if we back up does this not stand out in history as such a big scandal or does it? >> well, second terms tend to run into the scandal machinery and storms pretty quickly. president reagan, president clinton, president nixon. so you have a certain pattern here that's playing out. one thing that i think makes this different, because actually each of those presidents as we know had enormous capital taken away by scandal, but each was able to accomplish a good deal. one issue now is with the hyp hyperpartisan gridlock there is so little infrastructural support for the president even in his own party, how many
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democrats are really willing to take bullets for him in getting through this kind of political firestorm to mix about seven metaphors and actually get him to a place where he can get back to as he certainly lectured us yesterday he wants to be. >> and john meacham, i think you bring up a very good point. this is a president that keeps everybody at arm's length. if you embarrass him he throws you under the bus politically. he has for five years now. started with his preacher back in chicago and it has continued forward. and that's why i was jarred by some of the democratic chairmen on the hill and some of the statements they made early on that i just didn't expect them to be quite so tough. usually you circle the wagons for a week or so. that hasn't happened. as luke reported earlier, sander levin is going to go on the hill today and he and other democrats are going to distance themselves now from this administration,
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because the president has isolated himself. >> this is where you reap what you sow. this is a president who self-evidently, to some extent by his own acknowledgment in that he jokes about it, you know, have a drink with -- people say i want to have -- i should have a drink with mitch mcconnell. you go have a drink with mitch mcconnell. well, i'm not saying a couple drinks would fix this but there is so little margin for error on a practical, human, political level right now in the capital and the president has exacerb e exacerbated that. he is living on that margin. i just don't know how many folks are going to spend down their own capital with their own elections in front of them. remember, we've talked about this a lot right here, the one person in this whole situation who does not have another election is barack obama. >> with that in mind, obama care was under fire again yesterday marking the 38th time house republicans voted to repeal or defund parts of president
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obama's signature piece of legislation. the vote was divided along party lines, 229-195, which is two democrats voting with republicans. since being signed into law, the affordable care act remains a divisive issue among americans according to a recent nonpartisan study. just 35% of americans have a favorable opinion of the law. of those opposed to it, 53% believe lawmakers should continue to try and repeal or change it. a lot of people don't even know about it. >> reverend al, this bill remains, what is it, meacham, a mystery wrapped inside an eni a enigma, what was the churchill quote? the soviet union. mystery wrapped in enigma covered by riddle i think. >> and obama care still seems to be that way. we didn't understand what it was when we were debating it. we didn't understand what it was when it got -- remember nancy pelosi famously said let's pass it so we can figure out what's in it. most americans still don't know what is in this thing let me clear it up. it's the law and it was upheld by the supreme court.
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so let's start there. it is the law. >> right. >> and it appears it will remain that. but one of the things i wanted to say and you opened with, joe, i think the republicans have already gone too far. >> they've already over reached. >> and i'll tell you why. they're changing the premise to try to change the conclusion. they started these scandals by saying the white house orchestrated benghazi. >> right. >> now we see where susan rice totally has not seemed to be involved in spinning this for any political reason so the whole premise has changed. now we've gone from susan rice to clinton and like clinton would do this to try to re-elect obama is absurd. >> right. >> then we go with the irrelevances scandal. >> right. >> the showman who was the head of the irs was a bush appointed republican. how do we go from people on the front line in cincinnati, go over the republican-appointed commissioner of the irs, and leap into the oval office?
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it just doesn't make sense. everywhere they're going they're trying to change things along the way. we can have different opinions. we can't have different facts. >> all right. donnie? >> you know, i think i'm a little different place than most people here and we talked about this yesterday. i do think the over reach is going to happen and i also think the american people have a way of separating what i'll call institutional incompetent bureaucracies. >> right. >> congress. irs. and they don't attach them to a president or a party. >> he's always attached to a republican -- >> i just don't think it is going to get attached here. i think the american people want forward not back. >> he learns of everything bad that happens from the newspapers? i'm asking that question. >> i am disturbed by his passivity. i always have been. i'm just talking about is this going to stick? and it's not because the -- i kept reading about michele bachmann yesterday.
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>> right. >> i haven't heard her name. >> we'll show that. >> because she is irrelevant. when this stuff happens right. >> all of a sudden the, whatever you want to call them, climb out from under the rocks and the cameras go on them again and these become the faces of the republican party. >> so you think an over reach. >> this is actually going to be a gold mine. mika? still ahead behind the candle abra. emmy award winner jeremy weintraub on the new hbo original movie about the life of liberace starring michael douglas and matt damon. up next the host of "the last word" lawrence o'donnell joins ounce the set. first here is bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? well, unfortunately, we're still recovering from our texas tornado. still seven people missing out there and hopefully they're thinking those people may have just evacuated and left. they can't find them. hopefully they are not still in the rubble. six people did perish in these
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tornadoes and this picture says it all. a home once sat on this cement slab there in granbury. what can do this? winds up to 200 miles per hour is what can take a house and literally just remove it from the foundation. here are other aerial pictures just showing you it looks like a little kid just stomped on his lego set. that's how it looks after this ef-4 tornado went through. it was on the ground for almost three miles and at one point it was almost a half a mile wide as it went through downtown granbury. a lot of recovery there. who is next? this is severe weather season. usually we get two or three of these tornado outbreaks just about every week at this point. this is the peak of the season. today we don't have much but this weekend we will see severe weather once again and a possibility of tornadoes. on saturday it's pretty rural areas, fargo is probably the biggest city in it as we go through central nebraska and up through south dakota. maybe central kansas. it's into sunday that there is a little more concern. it could be a little more widespread. it also includes a lot of metropolitan areas including
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minneapolis/st. paul, omaha, kansas city, des moines, wichita, tulsa and the edge of oklahoma city. again, this isn't going to be a huge outbreak but we will see dangerous storms with the possibility of isolated tornadoes. as we saw the other night it only tabs once. let me take you through the weekend forecast. besides the severe weather and storms in the northern and central plains this weekend we're not going to have a great forecast in the mid-atlantic. it looks cloudy and rainy as we go throughout much of your saturday from north carolina, virginia, right through the delmarva and then by sunday it's even going to sneak up as far as new york city. so apologize, mid-atlantic, for kind of a damp, cool weekend for you. one area that looks nice over the weekend at least up until saturday is st. louis. we'll watch you for some storms late sunday night. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. i'm the next american success story. working for a company
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now i'm having a senior moment and i forgot what i was going to ask you. we'll come back in due time. oh, well maybe it won't. >> that's so funny. >> it happens to all of us. >> 24 past the hour. >> lawrence won't do that. >> yeah, right. the host of msnbc's "the last word" lawrence o'donnell. lawrence? >> donnie is here. sam stein's mom is going to be upset he hadn't talked that
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much. she sent a text. >> she is upset. >> sam can have my time. >> thank you. >> oh, no. >> i heard from my mom. >> people on the subway aren't talking about these scandals in washington? >> right. >> i got to say though on my subway car coming in this morning. >> yes. >> 401c4s, i'm telling you. >> all over the place. >> every other person. just wow. they're really on this. >> you had jay carney last night. >> that's the east side. not upper west side. >> so you had jay carney last night. >> yeah. he is still sort of sticking to his very narrow talking point that all they did was read the cia -- >> a very careful line and i think it technically holds up. if you look at the hundred pages of e-mails the white house is not changing the language. the cia is dealing with language changes from the state and the white house is sitting back saying can you guys get this straight? and so that strictly speaking line of the white house didn't
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change the language i believe the e-mails indicate to be technically true so we have the three big stories, benghazi, the irs, the a.p. >> i think the reporters pressing on this should push him beyond the white house and say, okay. what is your judgment and what is the president's judgment about what you see the state department doing? >> and who is responsible? that is my question. you've got benghazi, you've got the irs, you've got the ap. and the white house response on all three are hey this president woke up one morning, read the newspapers, and was surprised just like the rest of you. at some point having those silos lined up one after another starts making him look like ronald reagan in 1986. >> the ones he did studiously avoid and should avoid knowing anything about is what is going on at the irs and what is going on in this investigation that the justice department is running. you don't want presidents checking with the attorney general saying hey any interesting investigations that involve people i care about? but wouldn't the president, so if you're president and there is a leak that disturbs you and you
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think americans' lives are a danger do you go out and play golf or do you investigate this -- >> i want to know. >> no you don't. >> i want to know who is responsible. >> you hire an attorney general starting off. you make sure everybody is in the jobs that they have to be in to police the laws of america. and when something like that happens, what you don't do as president is call up and say, hey. i want a prosecution based on the leak that i just read that the ap has. you don't want a president making those phone calls. >> the president never talks to the attorney general, nobody in the white house ever talks to the attorney general? because they do not talk to them, joe, about prosecutions and investigations. you don't want them talking about that. >> what about saying we want you to look into this. >> that is not the president's function. he is not the prosecutor. >> what does a president -- >> give me the name of a president who called up an attorney general, to start an investigation and prosecution. >> i'm just genuinely curious
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what the hell does the president of the united states do if he believes that leaks have gone out that are risking americans' lives? does he just go out and play golf? what does he do? >> what he can do on his end of it is talk about how do we control our leaks? that's -- because that is coming out of his end of the bureaucracy is where that information is coming from. that's his job. national security, cia, all those people, what are you doing? how do we tighten this down? but prosecutions are not, and investigations, criminal investigations, are not for the president to initiate. >> all right. >> you don't want a president doing that. by the way, i'm here to solve problems, joe. >> you are a problem solver. >> we've debated these things. >> come on. >> better than a week. right now. this has been going on for five days. >> you and i right now are going to solve the irs problem. >> we are. >> okay. right after mika reads this. >> okay. >> fine. peggy noonan in "the wall street journal", this is no ordinary scandal. the president as usual acts as if all of this is totally unconnected to him. he's shocked. it's unacceptable. he'll get to the bottom of it.
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he'll read about it in the papers just like you. but he is not unconnected. he is not a bystander. this is his administration. those are his executive agencies. a president sets a mood, a tone. he establishes an atmosphere. if he is arrogant, arrogance spreads. if he is too partisan, too disrespecting of political adversaries, that spreads, too. presidents always undo themselves and then blame it on the third guy in the last row in the sleepy agency across town. it would be shameful and shallow for any republican operative or operator to make this scandal into a commercial and turn it into a mere partisan arguing point and part of the game. it is not part of the game. this is not about the usual partisan slugfest. this is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function. >> donnie deutsch, by the way, that was a pushback to karl rove when she said it would be shameful to do a 30-second ad, a pushback. a lot of conservatives like bill
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kristol, peggy noonan, really don't like the fact karl rove turned this into a 30-second commercial. >> just two points. the biggest mistake the republicans are going to make is sell evil versus incompetence. my question, and, lawrence, around the table, and joe is very vociferous about this, point being america is going to look at this and oh, boy oh, boy. this is the shining example of too much government. there is going to be a gun registry because of this. my point of view is the american public can separate, understand that government is vast. there's always going to be screw ups. and it is left at that. it does not mean that government doesn't work. it doesn't hold true to that other argument. there was a bunch of idiots -- >> let lawrence respond. >> that is going to be the new york attitude. i think joe is right about undermining -- >> exactly. >> -- a suspicion that's already been present and has been present for decades about government. >> since king george. >> but we have that --
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>> really activated and given voice by ronald reagan. >> yes. >> who basically was the one who said you shouldn't trust government. >> yeah. >> you've got a very wide swath of the population and this has always been one of the problems, legislating health care, is that you're going to have the government, you know, for 40% of the people, they would always distrust the government doing that and so this will add i think marginally to that feeling. i think those people were already distrustful of obama care. but there is a solution, joe. >> what is that? >> we're here for solutions. >> what is it? i'm so skeptical the 501c4 problem. >> get rid of them? >> no. >> what? >> enforce the law as written. what happened in cincinnati is irs agents were confused by the guidelines and they started interpreting things. right? they were doing interpretations. >> so confused they just went after one side. >> they didn't go after one side. that was a minority of what they went after. the tea party was less than a third of what they actually went after in the group. the ig was not asked about
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anything but the tea party so he didn't identify all of the other groups that they went after. but we don't like the way they were interpreting the rules. right? >> right. >> why don't we have them do this. enforce the law exactly as it was written. >> what would that be? >> here's what they would do. they would read the latest update, which is 1954. >> i cannot allow you to read that. >> i happen to have it. >> i want to hear it. >> no. >> i want to hear it. >> i have to go to sam stein. >> it's a law not a reg, joe. >> going back to eisenhower. >> that's right. >> i saw this last night. >> organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social outcome. enforce that law. >> exclusively. >> enforce that law. >> sam stein. >> what did the irs do? >> sam stein, this is the bigger rub is it not?
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exclusively. >> yeah. >> not politically. and everybody is playing games on the left, on the right. >> sure. >> so enforce it with everybody. hammer everybody. >> which means none of them get approved. >> not one of them. >> yes. >> every single one of them. >> sam stein's mom -- >> this is what i was trying to get at with the congressman. the bigger problem here is you have so many organizations coming in with anonymous donors. >> right. >> doing essentially politics. and according to lawrence's reading of the law and i trust lawrence that is against the law. >> why would you do that? >> because he is a smart guy. >> when i read the law i actually hold it in my hand. >> the question is only partially how do you stop these groups? do you apply -- the bigger question is how do we get rid of these groups from participating in politics? we have too much money in politics. that's a different case. the supreme court citizens united case says corporations can donate unlimited amounts prior to elections. that led to super pacs. >> do you think the supreme court is going to clamp down on this? >> it is not up to the supreme court, joe.
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what happened is eisenhower, the president -- it's his fault. it was his irrelevances commiss. that is who you want to grill in congress now. everybody who got this wrong is unfortunately now dead. eisenhower's irs commissioner interpreted the word "exclusively" to mean primarily. and they wrote that into the regs. >> lawrence o'donnell thank you so much. >> all right. >> donnie, i ask you in your marital vows if you change the word exclusively to primarily how would that work for you? >> i have -- >> not the person to ask. >> coming up, hbo's original movie on liberace, emmy award winner jerry weintraub joins us here on the set. looking good. jerry has lost some weight. looking hot. what's that about? >> "morning joe" back in a moment.
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candelabra. i thank you all for joining me for this boogie woogie and i'd like to try a little
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experiment. i've been playing this boogie woogie at eight beats to the bar. i'd like to try playing it now at 16 beats to the bar. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> wow! he's incredible! >> oh, my gosh. that was a clip from hbo's "behind the candelabra" a film based on the relationship between liberace and his younger lover, scott thorson. and here with us now emmy award winner and executive producer of "behind the candelabra" jerry weintraub. >> jerry! my hero. >> everybody's hero. >> this looks good. >> he is everybody's hero. >> i can't wait to see it. >> so we're talking to you while you're telling us that you're thinking about doing this movie,
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working with michael douglas. let's talk about the real life drama first. >> yeah. >> and then michael gets sick. >> yeah. >> and for a while you didn't know whether this was going forward or not. i remember talking to you in real time about it but he is doing great. >> terrific. wonderful. and he's -- he did an extraordinary job in this film. both of them did. i don't know how they did it. you know, the first day we were on the set matt came out of the swimming pool in a little white bikini and michael was lying in a kaftan on a chaise lounge and matt looked beautiful, so handsome and i'm watching this on my monitor and michael said to him, come over here, my adonis. come over here. he got on top of michael and started kiss higgensen im. next thing you know his hands were on his behind. >> this is the first day. >> wait a second.
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let me just finish it. and he started kissing him and i took my headsets off and i said, oh, my god, what did i do here? these are my friends. i may have ruined two careers. i looked to my left and there was a lady standing there and it was matt's mother. and i said to her -- wait a minute. >> i mean, he is a boston guy. >> i said to her, are you okay? she said, jerry, that was beautiful. that was beautiful. and i said, i'm good. >> wow. >> michael douglas said in "the new york" magazine piece just the first kiss is the tough one. once you get that it's okay. >> matt's a pretty good kisser he says. so, you know, look at these piano scenes. michael douglas obviously doesn't play piano like liberace but as a piano guy that can't play that well but knows, i mean, it looks like he's playing. >> yeah. >> how did you guys do that?
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>> oh, we're very good at making movies. movie magic. >> this looks -- >> jerry said an interesting thing in this movie that young people who obviously don't know liberace are so turned on by this premise because if you really think about it he is the essence of what all reality stars today, over the top, flamboyant, crazy. >> letting it all hang out. >> young people are relating to this character. >> we find out, you know, as a guy that grew up in, you know, and saw liberace, do we find out, do we get to the core of who this guy really was? >> it's all showbiz. is he flamboyant? what was it? >> he was very flamboyant. >> even off stage? >> off stage. >> he played the role. >> yeah. but he was, that's who he was. i don't think -- he wasn't playing a role. i think that's who he feels. and all my interaction with him when i went to parties at his house, when i was at dinner
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parties, etcetera, he was a wonderful host, a great guy. he lived a tortured life because in those days you couldn't come out of the closet. in those days there was no prop 8, no this and no that. if you were homosexual you were homosexual and you kept it quiet. >> so where did this come from? just his flamboyance, his background. >> he was a great showman and he did this stuff before elton john and lady gaga. >> yeah. >> and madonna and cher were alive. you know. >> yeah. >> he dressed in these outrageous costumes. he loved it. >> by the way, for those people, too, too young to remember liberace, sam stein, talking to you, too young for michael jackson, say elton john and some of his crazy outfits, that was actually a very watered down version of what liberace did. >> liberace, yes. >> i'm more interested in scott thorson who wrote the book upon which this is based and has had a very troubled life obviously. did you talk to him for this? tell us about him as a character
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and a person. >> well, i had a troubled relationship with him to begin with because i was buying the book from him. >> oh. >> he had a partner and an agent and this and that. >> oh, god. >> and he was a little difficult and he needed money and i finally made a deal with him. i got the book from him. and then he kept calling me again and again and again. i talked to him just last week. he's in jail in reno, nevada, for credit card fraud. >> has he seen this? has he seen the movie? >> no. and i was going to show it to him. i'm not hiding it from him. >> yes. >> and he said, how am i in the movie? i said, well matt damon plays you. >> can't be too bad. >> pretty good. and he's excited about it. i was going to show it to him. i think he is going to like it. he comes off very well in the movie but he's a troubled guy. he still is. >> well, what's at the core of this story? what's at the core of this relationship that makes it the focus of this movie? >> the core of the retionship?
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>> yeah, yeah. what did liberace get from this relationship? obviously we know what the matt damon character got but tell us about the relationship. >> well, he was a young man in los angeles. he met liberace. >> let me break this down. was he just a boy toy for liberace? >> no. they had a love affair. >> a real emotional connection. >> very emotional connection. >> 27 and 18 by the way. >> that's what i'm talking about. >> he fell in love with him and then he fell out of love with him and then he fell back in love with him and then he fell out. like men and women. you know? >> it happens. >> the thing that interested me so much about this film and interested steven seidenberg and richard, the reason we put it together, is that they had this relationship and after you watched the movie for 15 minutes, you forget about it being two men.
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it could be anybody because the situations are exactly the same as a man and a woman. >> right. >> or two women or whatever. two people. the relationship just continues on like that. >> behind the candelabra premieres on supp, may 26th. on hbo. jerry, this is for sues. i wrote a note. >> i'll bring it home. >> sues told me years ago. start eating. >> yes. and i did. keep it right here on "morning joe." if we don't double the number of kids graduating from high school in the next 8 years, our country won't be able to compete globally. what uncle sam needs now are more good teachers.
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about 31% below the ipo price. where does it go from here? should mark zuckerberg take a step back? what would you do with facebook? also it talks about the ipo culture. they extracted every penny they could out of that ipo. when they work well everybody should make money. early investors, people who buy the day it comes out makes money and everybody is happy but they tried to get every -- >> the regular investors got pounded on it. you have exciting news for people up and down the amtrak corridor. >> they are upgrading their wireless. it was abysmal, horrific. couldn't go anywhere else but up and they are making it better thank god. >> jerry, how is hollywood doing? how is the business? >> we're doing great. >> making money? >> making money. >> hand over fist? >> no. fist over hand. >> we'll be right back with more "morning joe."
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the clothes that the nba stars have been wearing at their post game press conferences? yeah. we showed some of these last night but i want to show more because they're really getting pretty daring. take a look. >> i just wanted to win the game real bad. >> i think we really opened up everybody, starting off shooting the ball the way he did.
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>> three months just not what we're used to. >> we fell short. >> we just went on a run. they were not able to stop it. >> we just got a good -- you know, see where we went wrong. >> every game is a new game. you never know what's going to happen. >> i don't understand the style there. so when we come back, i'm going to ask jerry about this role for matt damon. what we learned today and what we learned about matt damon taking on this role. >> interesting. when we return with more "morning joe." do we have a mower? no. a trimmer? no. we got nothing. we just bought our first house, we're on a budget. we're not ready for spring. well let's get you ready. very nice. you see these various colors. got workshops every saturday. yes, maybe a little bit over here. summer's here. so are the savings.
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[ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? [ crows ] now where's the snooze button? welcome back. time to talk about what we learned today. what did you learn? >> i took susie's advice and gained some weight. >> jerry, i like matt damon. >> i didn't have to twist it. asked him to do it. he read the script, loved the script, and he went for it. he did a hell of a thing going for it. >> unbelievable. sam stein, what did you learn? >> i learned sometimes the first scene you shoot in the movie is the most uncomfortable you'll shoot. >> yes. something like that.
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exactly. >> brian? >> the high life -- >> you want it. >> going golfing in london for a week? >> yes. >> sounds like the life i tried to push on mika. >> now, now. really. exactly. >> the south of france. >> usually i'm driving kids around. >> get the book. don't forget the book. she looks great. >> "way too early" and "morning joe" and now chuck todd is straight ahead. >> thank you. we are watching developing news on capitol hill where outgoing acting irs commissioner steven miller will testify this hour to the house ways and means committee. this will be his first public comments since the story exploded about the agency singling out conservative groups for special scrutiny. miller resigned his post on wednesday after treur